Design icon ‘Sucker’ – Jan Hoekstra

Every other week, together with Sjiek / Het Belang Van Limburg, we present a design icon for Limburg, or one that is well on its way to becoming one. This week it is Sucker by Jan Hoekstra and Leon Ramakers for Droog Design.


Is this design?

In fact, this is superficial design and it sucks. Literally. The self-sucking hanging button made of silicone rubber has a diameter of 12 centimeters and is 8.5 centimeters deep and attaches itself to any smooth surface after a simple handshake. This way you don’t have to drill into your (tile) walls.

What makes this special?

The Sucker was developed in 2004 at the office of the renowned Dutch design label Droog. This platform where young designers presented their home-made products really turned out to be an internationally leading design company that helped gave these designers the well-deserved push in the back. It is also this commercial cover that sticks to this Sucker.

Who comes up with such a thing?

Jan Hoekstra, the Dutch Limburger who graduated in Genk in 1989 and has lived here for years, together with Leon Ramakers (partner of Droog founder Renny Ramakers). While Hoekstra, as an in-house product designer, was responsible for preparing the Droog design items for production, Ramakers was mainly active as a business developer. It is from samples of the silicone rubber for other products that they came up with Sucker together. As a joke; were it not for the fact that the product immediately became an icon in the Droog range.

Can I buy that?

Yes, for only 9.95 euros. Since it came on the market in 2005, it has grown into a true success. Available in numerous colors up to and including a glow in the dark version, so you don’t have to start groping in the dark.

Our verdict?

The simplicity of the design, the intuitive use, coupled with a fair price, make Sucker a world product. Something you would expect more from Ikea and less from the conceptual label Droog. They also considered this thought at Droog, yet they pushed on and turned Sucker into a main-seller. You don’t have to teach Jan Hoekstra anything of coming up with successful products. One of his first designs, the ‘Cable Turtle’ cable tie (made of flexible rubber, yes), is part of the permanent collection of the MoMa and he has been breaking pottery for several years as the all-important design director of the Belgian company The Cookware Company, known from Greenpan and the Jeroen Meus’ pans.